Archives for March 2017

Winter weather advisory posted for parts of Franklin County

A winter weather advisory posted for southern and eastern Franklin County, starting this evening through 2 Saturday afternoon. The National Weather Service says the area could see 3-5 inches of snow and sleet. This could be heavy, wet snow too. Here in Malone, we’re not expecting as much snow…maybe an inch..with rain mixing in. Highs will be in the upper 30s this afternoon falling to just below freezing for a low tonight. Highs again on Saturday will be in the upper 30s.

FORMER RAY BROOK CORRECTIONS OFFICER CHARGED IN CONTRABAND CASE

A former corrections officer at FCI Ray Brook was arraigned on Thursday, on charges that he accepted a bribe from an inmate. Ed Histed has that story…

((31 year old Carlos Ochoa is charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery by a public official, and providing contraband to a federal inmate. Prosecutors say Ochoa agreed to accept money in exchange for smuggling an iPhone to Richard Coleman, an inmate at FCI Ray Brook. Ochoa then smuggled the iPhone into the facility and provided it to Coleman, who used the phone to communicate with people outside of the facility. The phone was discovered during a cell search. If convicted of all charges, Ochoa faces up to 15 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and then supervised release for up to 3 years. Ochoa was already in custody on federal charges in Puerto Rico at the time. He is accused there of accepting a bribe as a corrections officer at another prison in Puerto Rico, for supplying a firearm and ammunition to a prohibited person, and for attempting to aid and abet possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.))

North Country population on the decline

Fewer people are living in the North Country. The Census Bureau’s latest numbers show Franklin County lost about 200 people between 2015 and 2016, and the drop is even steeper if you consider that in the last six years, the county’s population is down more than 2.5%. Other North County counties saw similiar drops. Local experts say its because there are fewer job opportunties to keep people coming to the area. And that could lead to further economic declines.

WOOD PELLETS WORKING OUT WELL TO HEAT TOWN BUILDINGS

In Bellmont, folks came out Wednesday, for an open house to learn more about the wood pellet heater that is now being used to heat the Town Hall. Ed Histed has the details…

((It was all presented by the Northern Forest Center of New Hampshire, which is putting on a big push here in the North Country to get as many municipalities and nonprofits to look into wood pellet heaters as possible. The systems are more than just wood heaters as we would commonly think of them… there is an actual onboard computer interface that tracks the heater’s function. They’re pretty efficient too. The system in Bellmont was installed and first fired up back in January, 2016. Since then, the total amount of ash generated… according to town officials… would fit into a trash can. But even then, it’s not tossed out… it can be used to supplement the sand supply for winter roads. It’s been working well, keeping the town offices and courtroom comfortable ever since it was put in. Pellets are supplied by Curran Renewable Energy in Massena. The town has spent about $1,600 for pellets since January of 2016. Most who took the tour yesterday, came away pretty impressed. Constable is currently looking at the same type of system, as one of several possible heating solutions that are under consideration.))

Airport managers worried about proposed cuts to Essential Air Service

President Trump’s proposed budget cuts could signficantly impact North Country tourism. One of the cuts is to the Essential Air Service Program, which provides flights to five airports in Northern New York, including Lake Clear, Plattsburgh, Massena, and Ogdensburg. Airport managers have been in contact with elected officials in Washington, asking them to keep the essential air service. This comes just months after Gov. Cuomo announced a $38 million investment in the Plattsburgh International Airport, which has been hailed as a way to improve Adirondack tourism efforts.

Chateaugay approves asbestos removal contract on dilapidated house

Chateaugay is getting closer to removing two dilapidated buildings along State Route 374. The town board has accepted a nearly $9-thousand contract for asbestos removal. Once the work is done, a falling-down house and store will be demolished. Town officials have been trying to get ride of the house and the store for nearly a year. The former store is leaning so far out over the sidewalk and street that officials are worried it could come down at any time.

WAVERLY EXPLORING SINKING SAND OPTIONS

The Waverly Town Board is looking for a new site to mine for sand that is needed to cover the roads in town, because the current sand pit is reaching the end of its lifespan….

((While some have suggested purchasing a property that neighbors the town of Waverly’s sand mine on Davidson Road in Dickinson… and the owner of that property wants to sell it, there are some problems with that plan. The proposed site would provide enough new sand to last for at least another two to three years, but a National Grid power line runs underneath the adjoining property… opening up the possibility of hitting the power line when digging for sand. Supervisors were also looking at a 37-acre parcel on Bailey Road, but most of it has since been sold, and the new owner plans to use it for hunting. Meanwhile, the Town Board has turned in an amended mining permit application to the state Department of Environmental Conservation that would mining operations to be extended at the current pit to the last untapped portion. However, the permit has not yet been approved by the state.))

Posted to wicy.vncnews.com
Mar. 27, 2017 7:29 AM CST
by ehisted

WAVERLY EXPLORING SHRINKING SAND OPTIONS

The Waverly Town Board is looking for a new site to mine for sand that is needed to cover the roads in town, because the current sand pit is reaching the end of its lifespan….

((While some have suggested purchasing a property that neighbors the town of Waverly’s sand mine on Davidson Road in Dickinson… and the owner of that property wants to sell it, there are some problems with that plan. The proposed site would provide enough new sand to last for at least another two to three years, but a National Grid power line runs underneath the adjoining property… opening up the possibility of hitting the power line when digging for sand. Supervisors were also looking at a 37-acre parcel on Bailey Road, but most of it has since been sold, and the new owner plans to use it for hunting. Meanwhile, the Town Board has turned in an amended mining permit application to the state Department of Environmental Conservation that would mining operations to be extended at the current pit to the last untapped portion. However, the permit has not yet been approved by the state.))

MOHAWK SUB-CHIEF TESTIFIES BEFORE CONGRESS ON INTERNET ACCESS

A sub-chief witht the St. Regis Mohawk testified this week before Congress in an effort to rally support for expanding access to broadband at the federal level. Ed Histed has details…

((Tribal Sub-Chief Michael Conners appeared before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Sub-Committee on Communication and Technology earlier this week, where talk focused on addressing and identifying the best practices to deploy broadband infrastructure in rural America and on tribal lands. Mohawk Networks is rapidly deploying high-speed Internet to previously unserved communities in Northern New York, and is owned by the tribe. The Telegram reports that funding for development of broadband on the tribe’s territory was boosted by a $10.5 million U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, which supplemented local tribal investment. In addition, the tribe recently received another $6.4 million grant from Governor Cuomo’s New NY Broadband initiative to expand its services outside of the tribe’s territory. Tribal officials and local officials in Franklin County have made broadband access a major policy goal. They all agree that access to high-speed internet will boost economic development.))

Resident submit letter to Town Board to address flooding concerns

Locals affected by the recent flooding on the Salmon River are asking town board members to fix the problems that lead to the repeated flooding. A mile-long ice jam was to blame for pushing water in the river over the banks last week. The letter asks local leaders to use all political avenues to quote “resolve this dangerous sitution.” They’re blaming the Army Corps of Engineers for failing to dredge sediment from the river and Lamica Lake. The residents plan to send that letter to lawmakers at both the state and federal level. The water reached both Lower Park and Lane streets.